KFA 020 – “Leaving” featuring Phillips and Flathead

After an inspired decision to simply film two characters walking away from the camera grew into something slightly more, the final edits were made and a score was added and then voila: it is posted!

“The Conductor” is Under Way

After several months of prep and “negotiations” KFA is about to get rolling on the next Winston feature entitled “The Conductor”. The screenplay is complete as is the list of props and other requirements. Also it has been decided that Phillips & Flathead, two local performers, will have small, but consequential roles in the film.

The most important news is that KFA has been in contact with an excellent editor/producer who, if swayed, interested, and able, will be able to assist with principle shooting as well as provide other valuable and necessary guidance.

Some “promo” stills for the upcoming film:

Wake Up Winston – MOCK UP #1 – KFA017 – March 1, 2010

This is the first draft of Wake Up Winston. It has no sound and has an annoying watermark. This will be pulled once the final version is completed.

KFA Stats: February 23, 2010

KFA Film Title – Views (MySpace & YouTube)
Behold a Great Warrior – 802
The Rhyme in the Song – 206
This is Self Evident – 165
The Right Season – 51
One for the Money – 25
Two for the Show – 22

Total Views – 1271
WP Site Visits – 80

“Wake Up Winston” – Rehearsal #1 & Film Shoot #1, February 20, 2010

This past weekend gave KFA the opportunity to fully realize the beginning of small test project tentatively entitled Wake Up Winston. This is meant as a simple short for us to learn the possibilities and limitations of working with the Flip Camera.

Discoveries
We will need much more lighting. I will have to locate my lights and SH will try to track down some as well.
The film was originally conceived to be 30 seconds when it will actually be closer to 2 minutes.
Use of extreme close up will require Winston to move much more slowly and maintain a full-on intention toward the camera. In short, maintain impeccable camera awareness.

The Filming
It took essentially five runs to get “part 2” down and then six runs to get “part one” down. POV shots of the pillow and the clock were done with three and two runs respectively.
Winston’s facial elasticity continues to improve and this will be instrumental as he continues to grow as a character.
Winston will need much more make-up. We mush conceal the coloration.
Winston’s costume works very well, but he must be “arranged” once he is lying down as to flatten out folds and bunches.

Flip Camera
Once enough lighting is secured this should be a very good medium for this piece and most likely for Well-Suited.

Next Time
The next shooting date will be February 27, 2010. We are hoping to finish all initial filming and then do any required re-shoots. Also, I would like to begin editing. Lastly, we will need to finalize the set for Well-Suited and if everything falls together nicely we would like to begin filming some test shots.

“Well Suited” Construction Day #2 February 03, 2010

We are so close to finishing the set that I can taste it as they say. We made some great discoveries this past week about how to make the whole set up a great deal easier and on top of that we reviewed the flip-phone camera that we’re going to be using and we made a great deal of discoveries.

Set Building – Day 2
After reviewing the original set building ideas I decided to stand firm on my original premises and continue to work in that direction. Fortunately, I was able to make a discovery that will save a lot of work effort. There still remains the problem of how best to affix the screens to the bases in order to make them taut enough, but the larger problems have been settled and soon they should be erect and ready to light up and perform in front of.

Flip-Phone Camera
I watched some of SH’s outdoor shots with his camera and I was very impressed. I think this is going to just do the trick for Well Suited. We took some inside shots and made some discoveries that surprised no one. Three words: Lighting. Lighting. Lighting. We have got to obtain as much lighting as we can get to make sure we get as much clarity as possible.

Next Steps
Winston Wakes Up (30 second film)
Something we’re going to try and do is going to be a test film short called Winston Wakes Up (KFA 016). It is going to be about twenty or thirty seconds. It is going to feature Winston in film make up lying on a white sheet. We’re going to see how much we can pan, zoom, and focus this little devil of a camera. We’re also going to see just how much lighting we’re going to need.

Finishing the set up
Of course we’re going to get this set finished the next time we get together. It should be relatively simple and will most likely be the first order of business.

“Well-Suited” Construction Day #1: January 23, 2010

Well, if finally happened. We’ve begun building the set for “Well-Suited”. The plans are finalized and the framing has been started. SH and I went to his friend’s house to the bulk of the work. All in all it was a productive day, but there were a few snags along the way.

Blueprints
After several modifications, I was able to finalize my plans for a collapsible and portable set of walls. The plan is to create “blinds” for each wall panel. I opted for creating something temporary instead of the more permanent “stretched canvas” approach. The good news is that I came up with something that will be rigid enough and can be easily transported. The bad news is that the final draft in my head was not to be.

Schematics/Supplies
– 100’ feet of 1” x 2” wood cut down to (10) 8’ pieces and (5) 4’ pieces
– 5 white/off white bed sheets cut to 51” x 8’
– 5 4’ dowels fitted with 1 ¼” eye hooks at each end
– 10 ¼” x 2” bolts fitted with wing nuts in order to allow for attachable and collapsible legs
– Other assorted materials to be determined, bought, exchanged or returned later

Materials
SH and I tracked down just enough sheets for the walls as well as most of the required materials at the local HD. The cost was $84 + $10 = $94 total for the building of the five walls.

Building
I was lucky enough to have access to all the required tools for this little venture. I ended up using small portion of tools and was able to somehow avoid both screwdriver and hammer!

Tools
DeWalt Power Drill with 5/16” and ¼” bits
Power chord
American Boy Handsaw
T-Square
12” ruler
20’ measuring tape
Pencil
(not yet used) Swingline Power Stapler

Outcome
We finished about 65-70% of the work. Everything is the right size and will be perfect when assembled. What remains is the refitting of the foot-pieces, stapling the sheets to the dowels, mounting the dowels to the frames, and erecting the frames. I fully expect to have this completed by next week and the following weekend we can either do some test lighting shots or actually begin shooting.

“Well Suited” Notes from Rehearsal #14

This was the logistical rehearsal that we needed to get things on their final leg. Measurements of the space were made and three reviews were made of the “slide show”

Slide Show Review #1
In order to assure a nice contrast as well as introduce a little intimacy between Winston and the audience many of the Close Up’s of Winston’s face will become Extreme Close-Ups. This will require far more attention to the detail of the make-up. A lighter foundation with accented eyes and eyebrows. This may cause the removal of the pencil thin moustache.

Slide Show Review #2

The biggest discovery was that a Pan shot will need to be used. It will appear as if we’re using a trolley. It will add to the effect that the audience is really part of this. This is going to look great and help us when the walls are constructed.

Slide Show Review #3
The notes I took away from this final review involved my “neutral”. I need to establish Winston in repose as it were. My stares need some life in them. Also, I need to be much more physically and mentally involved in the moments when I am not in action. In short, I need to still interact with the coat or around the coat. It is as simple as that.

The New Camera
Perhaps the greatest discovery from this rehearsal was SH’s new Flip Camera. The quality is going to be great, its going to be easy to use and it will incorporate the spirit of most KFA pieces. Maximizing the Minimum and utilizing whatever is available to you.

Next Rehearsal
SH and I buy the supplies and begin to build the flats.

“Well Suited” Stills from Rehearsal #13

Pay no attention to the background or the blurriness. Winston is in motion throughout a lot of this and so he was hard to “capture”. Also, it was not important that this be anything other than a chance to see how his body is in space and that he plays to the camera and most importantly that the story is there and hopefully clear.

“Well Suited” Rehearsal #13 November 22, 2009

Today’s plan was to simply run the piece for some still photography. There would be a second run for a very small audience. This is essentially the final leg before we begin the final construction phase and actual filming. SH and I met and reviewed our goals for the rehearsal and then it was underway.

Discoveries
Vest is too big around the shoulders. I will have to safety pin it down during shooting so that it will create a smoother line against my chest.
More hair gel is needed so that it is more adaptable to required positioning.
The “akimbo” positioning of my arms is overused. I need to develop different degrees by which I can demonstrate similar intentions.
Audibles are becoming clearer and proving to be all but a necessary addition to the piece.

Run #1
The slow deliberate stop and start pacing of the first run was an invaluable exercise in reaffirming my character and my story. I was literally able to work through spots that felt troublesome in real time. SH took over 140 stills for the piece of which about 110 are useable. I was very happy with several of the stills which really show the character and even more importantly the relationship between me and the other character. The coat.

Run #2
As I stated the first run was instrumental in the strength of my actual run. It was so eye opening that I will use the style in which I ran the piece for the stills as a warm up for the actual filming days. This style is reminiscent of an isolation exercise I once learned from BS back in the late 90’s. Essentially taking a moment and exploring it, often out of context of the story, by running it. It sort of is a dangling story, but somehow self contained at the same time.

The run was strong and it was without any transitional errors. It elicited some honest laughter. I think what helped this was the fact that I many clearly defined moments helped along by a variety of both tensions and pace.

Outlook
The next phase is to construct the white flats to create the room. Once these are constructed a shooting schedule will be finalized and then the crew will be set. My estimated date of shooting will be 12/13/09.

Long Range
Depending on the speed in which we finish Well-Suited and the amount of time required to prepare for ThanksFry there’s a very good chance that the next project for KFA will be The Big Cheese. Another film short featuring Winston and of course assisted by SH and DA.